Duck Fat-Fried Chicken With Piquillo Ketchup

Serves 4

Ludo has turned to Asian ingredients to marinate the meat and infuse it with a depth of flavor that elevates this American classic to a gourmet marriage with the chef’s French heritage and culinary traditions from further afield.

The resulting golden, crisp coated, succulent pieces of white and brown meat are served simply with a sprinkling of herbes de Provence and a spicy red dipping sauce.

Picture of Duck Fat-Fried Chicken With Piquillo Ketchup


Piquillo Ketchup

  • 1 cup drained piquillo peppers (preferably Del Destino)
  • 2 cups raspberry vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce
  • Freshly ground white pepper

Fried Chicken

  • 3 cups light soy sauce
  • 1 cup sesame oil
  • 1/2 cup chili oil, no seeds
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1 whole chicken (3 pounds)
  • 6 cups duck fat
  • 1 pound cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup herbes de Provence
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


To Make the Ketchup

  1. In a large saucepan, combine the piquillo with raspberry vinegar, water, sugar and a pinch of salt. Add 4 cups water. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer.
  2. Cover and cook for 1 hour, stirring every 10 minutes. Liquids will reduce to a syrupy consistency.
  3. Carefully blend the piquillo mix in the blender until it is completely smooth, adding water as necessary.
  4. Once the mix is completely puréed, gently stir in the Tabasco and white pepper by hand.
  5. Set aside and reserve in refrigerator.

To Make The Chicken

  1. In a bowl, combine the soy sauce, sesame oil, chili oil, ginger, and garlic; mix with a whisk and set aside.
  2. Clean the chicken. Cut the chicken breasts in half, leaving the skin on.
  3. Cut each chicken leg in two pieces at the joint, leaving the skin on.
  4. Put the cut chicken pieces in a big bowl, add the marinade, and toss to coat. Let the chicken marinate overnight in the refrigerator.
  5. On the next day, remove all the chicken meat from the marinade.
  6. In a saucepan, heat the duck fat slowly on medium heat to 320°F.
  7. Place the coated chicken legs in a bowl, and toss them lightly with half the cornstarch.
  8. Place the coated chicken legs in the duck fat, and let cook about 12 minutes (check temperature of meat with meat thermometer to ensure the interior is cooked to 160°F). Remove the legs from the duck fat and place on paper towels to drain. Season with herbes de Provence, salt, and pepper.
  9. Repeat Steps 7 and 8 for the breast pieces with the remaining cornstarch.
  10. Serve chicken hot with the piquillo ketchup as a dipping sauce.
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